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A-178-2 owners that play theremin (music)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author A-178-2 owners that play theremin (music)
raccoonboy
Hi all.

Thinking of getting an A-178-2 (doepfer) module soon. First of all does anyone here have one and use it for making melodies rather than as an effect?

Secondly. There only seems to be a bias offset which I think changes where e.g. middle C starts in space. But I want to be able to scale too so I can make an open to closed hand an octave as this is a common technique.

This will be simple enough, I just need to put the voltage through an attenuator but I guess I'm wondering if it is likely the default range will require me to attenuate downwards "compressing" the range. Or is it possible that an octave would be too small in space by default and I have to stretch the volts with an amplifier?

It doesn't really matter I'm just curious really.


Thanks
Nino
The offset does not offset or transpose the whole range, but rather determines the overall sensitivity of the antenna. I had the A-178-2 only for some days, as far as i remember there was just a small sweet spot where the repsonse would not be way too high or too low. So the Offset was more of a 'calibrate the antenna so you can use it' and not 'do you wnat middle C there or there'. Also you shouldn't expect the response/the output range to be consistent or evenly spaced. I remember the lower notes being way more comfortable to play and the higher it goes the smaller the distances would be.

"Compressing" the range is what i would also try to do, but i returned the modles, as i decided it's not the right moment. As expected, playing notes or melodies is extremely difficult, but not impossible. I have no experiences with other Theremins, so i cannot say if the Doepfer one is more difficult to play because of its range, but i guess so. If you wanna play melodies primarily with it i'd tend to recommend a standalone Theremin suchs as the Moog Etherwave, which also spits out cv to connect with Eurorack.

I also tested controlling filters or Plaits' Speech algo with it, which of course works way better than trying to play a melody. Using the A-178-2 that way is totally recommendable and was super fun. The offset can help you determine if you need to really reach out for the antenna or if just coming closer to the rack would make the output go wild.
raccoonboy
thanks, this makes sense and is helpful.

yeah, I guess it's already hard enough to play so should get something designed for the purpose. I guess I can sell if I don't use enough but I think I'd enjoy the challenge
Robrecht
I recommend the Moog Etherwave Plus (you need the Plus model, the regular one doesn't have CV outs). The built-in analog synthesizer generates very nice theremin sounds, but hooking it up to your modular really opens up a whole new world.



It's quite easy to tune the antenna so you can use your whole forearms' reach for the entire pitch range of the instrument, or a smaller range so the notes are further apart. For the left hand antenna (volume), I have it set rather long in the video above but it's possible to set it much tighter (and I usually do) for the open/close hand technique.

I've never tried the Doepfer theremin module but I imagine it would be harder to position your entire modular rack so that you can play it comfortably, in a stable posture and with enough free space around it.

Here's another recording, also of the theremin controlling Plaits' vowel synth.
[s]https://soundcloud.com/robrechtv/the-wires-are-singing[/s]
raccoonboy
Robrecht wrote:
I recommend the Moog Etherwave Plus (you need the Plus model, the regular one doesn't have CV outs). The built-in analog synthesizer generates very nice theremin sounds, but hooking it up to your modular really opens up a whole new world.



It's quite easy to tune the antenna so you can use your whole forearms' reach for the entire pitch range of the instrument, or a smaller range so the notes are further apart. For the left hand antenna (volume), I have it set rather long in the video above but it's possible to set it much tighter (and I usually do) for the open/close hand technique.

I've never tried the Doepfer theremin module but I imagine it would be harder to position your entire modular rack so that you can play it comfortably, in a stable posture and with enough free space around it.

Here's another recording, also of the theremin controlling Plaits' vowel synth.
[s]https://soundcloud.com/robrechtv/the-wires-are-singing[/s]


Very cool stuff..very cool. My plan was actually to put the doepfer module in an 84hp case and rest it facing up on the table. Try it out and get etherwave plus if I got really into it. But maybe I'll go straight for the daddy. Sure if I sell a couple of things I don't use I could afford it.
Robrecht
raccoonboy wrote:
My plan was actually to put the doepfer module in an 84hp case and rest it facing up on the table.


That's not a bad idea, actually. Of course, for the full theremin experience, you'd need two A-178-2 modules, one for each antenna (volume and pitch). And it would still remain to be seen if their ranges can be set up in a playable manner.
raccoonboy
Robrecht wrote:
raccoonboy wrote:
My plan was actually to put the doepfer module in an 84hp case and rest it facing up on the table.


That's not a bad idea, actually. Of course, for the full theremin experience, you'd need two A-178-2 modules, one for each antenna (volume and pitch). And it would still remain to be seen if their ranges can be set update in a playable manner.


Indeed. If I manage to play a couple of songs (pitch only) quite well that would justify an upgrade to both hands. If I don't use it too much for tunes then I can mess about with it for effects instead. As long as I can a least get one accurate (handwidth) octave out of it that should suffice for a start.
Foghorn
If you have an interest in a Theramin, you may want to check out the Doepfer A-198 Trautonium module.
It is a very well mannered ribbon controller.
The ribbon response is very linear (in relation to musical notes), allowing it to be fairly easy to play recognizable music with it.
The ribbon controller has 2 outputs with one being pressure sensitive.
This makes the CV output respond something like a string instrument where you can bend notes by changing the finger pressure.
The other output can be set to go to zero volts when you stop touching the ribbon, or to hold the last note touched.

It is hard to explain all it does with words.
This thing is really worth checking out.

Foghorn
ckwjr
I've posted this before, but I put together this "thereneutron" in a 104hp Make Noise case. A lot of fun to play. I'm far too lazy to play it without quantizing the pitch, so not very authentic.

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